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Doula


Welcome to JulianArts. Learn More About Doula's

Women have been giving birth since the beginning of time-- but those times have now changed and many women give birth without having witnessed the childbirthing experiences of their own mothers, aunts, sisters and community members. We are now seeing that women truly need extra support through this transformative time. A doula is there to help.

A doula is an advocate for the birthing mom and her partner. Whether you want a birth in hospital with or without drugs or or interventions--whether you want to birth at home with a midwife or other trained attendant--your doula is there to help you feel involved, safe, and empowered.

The doula is not there to replace the birthing mom’s husband or the loved one she has chosen to be with her. The doula is there to provide objective nurturing support & education, to make suggestions about comfort measures & positions, keep mom hydrated & focused, provide breaks for the other members of the birth team, and to be the gatekeeper between mom and the outside world. The doula is there to help make birthing easier.

When parents choose to birth in a hospital, a doula can provide comfort and support in the home long before it is time to head to the hospital. Often, parents wonder if "this is really labor?" or "is it time to go to the hospital?" A doula is trained to recognize the signs and stages of labor through close observation of the mother. Parents tend to be more relaxed in their own home and labor may progress more gently & quickly. Plus, If mom is already in active labor (4-5 cms) when she arrives at the hospital, there is less chance for the use of labor inducing or labor augmenting drugs or procedures (like Pitocin, Cervidil, and Artificial Rupture of Membranes). During your time at the hospital, a doula can help you to understand any procedures or complications that you may run into and help you communicate with your care provider.

Consultation: Determine if a doula is right for you. This can be via phone, email or in person. there is no charge or obligation for your initial consultation. Call 814-558-6068 or email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it to make arrangements.

Home Visits: Build rapport, discuss your health & pregnancy history, create ideal birth plan, determine needs and address concerns. Relaxation, breathing and comfort techniques. Belly casting and/or belly henna painting. Pregnancy photography is also available.

Care Provider Visit Meet with your care provider, share birth plan, follow up on expectations and concerns of labor and birth, review health history with care provider. Become familiar with care provider and his/her policies.

Labor Support: Early labor and family support at your home, accompany to hospital if not birthing at home, birth plan support, continuous encouragement & guidance during labor and through entire birthing process. Early breastfeeding and bonding support. Photography and video taping are available.

Postpartum Visits: Review of the birth at your home. Can include a wide variety of services, including breastfeeding support, house cleaning, laundry, shopping, errands, older child care, scrapbooking, mailing birth announcements, yoga, etc...New parents need to enjoy their new baby and rest!

 
The Unique Role of a Doula

I recognize childbirth as a transformative life experience. On your birthing day, not only is your baby being welcomed into the world, you and your partner are simultaneously being transformed into parents. There is no other single day in our lives when we are asked to do, be, and experience so many things. Protecting the sacredness of this event is my priority.

As I see it, the role of a doula is to mother the mother.  As our society has grown and progressed, many advances in science and medicine have made it possible to save lives that might have been lost a hundred years ago. But with those advances, we have lost the trust in our bodies and trust in the process of birth. Experts agree that interventions can help, but they are grossly overused and unnecessary in the majority of childbirth experiences. Birth has become filled with fear and misinformation. Doula's support the joy of birth by eliminating the fear and myths.

A birth doula helps families come as close as they can to having the kind of birth they desire. To be successful parents, they need to come away from the birthing experience with the best possible feelings about themselves and their capabilities. I work to educate mothers and their partners about childbirth, to help mediate the stress and discomfort that can be associated with pregnancy, and to provide physical and emotional support throughout the entire childbirth process. I can offer suggestions on comfort measures, pain relief, positions, movement, breathing and relaxation that will provide the optimal experience for you and your baby.

While the outcome of labor and birth can be unpredictable, the care you receive during your labor should never be. Doula's work alongside physicians, midwives, nurses, and birth partners, but do not replace any of these important birth team participants. As a doula, I will assist women giving birth in hospitals, birth centers and at home. As your doula, I am YOUR assistant. I am employed by you, and therefore I have your desires, hopes, and best interest in mind. I hope to provide constant, nurturing, helpful and objective support as well as first-hand knowledge and understanding of what you, the laboring mother, is going through.

Doula's specialize in non-medical skills and do not perform clinical tasks, such as vaginal exams or fetal heart rate monitoring. In addition to the support, doula's are trained in non-pharmacological pain relief. Non-pharmacological pain relief means anything non-medical such as massage, aromatherapy, visualization, situation-appropriate application of heat or cold, breathing patterns, body positioning, focal points, and relaxation techniques. doula's do not diagnose medical conditions, offer second opinions, or give medical advice. The doula's goal is to help the woman have a safe and satisfying childbirth, as defined by each individual woman.

Birth Intentions Template

Birth Preferences for_________________

We are happy to be known as _____________________________ and our Doula's name is _______________________


We have chosen to have our baby at this facility because we are confident that here we will be able to labor in privacy and birth safely. We’ve done as much preparation as we can and we are committed to do the work. It means a lot to us to know that if we really need you, you are there. We’re hoping for a natural childbirth and wish to avoid unnecessary intervention and medication. We have asked a doula to be present at the birth to help us work towards this.

We also understand that in spite of the best preparation, sometimes unforeseen difficulties arise. We are open to your recommendations if this should happen. Please discuss all options with us and our Doula. We would like the opportunity to think it over without the presence of any hospital staff if a situation arises.

We would like our birth experience to be quiet, unhurried, respectful and private.

Thank you for your kind consideration and valuable care.

ACTIVE BIRTH

We'd like the freedom to choose positions, use the shower or bath and walk around in labor as desired.

We do request that everyone use respectful and quiet voices during our labor and birth. Please talk to us only when mom is between contractions.

We'd prefer not to be offered drugs; we are aware of the options for pain relief and will ask for your recommendations if needed. If I do request drugs whilst in transition, please tell me that I am nearing the end and let me re-evaluate my request.

As long the baby and mother are fine,  we would prefer to be free of time limits and not have my labor augmented.

We plan on staying hydrated and eating light snacks to keep our energy up.

Please, no directed pushing or counting while pushing.

After birth, we would like to have the baby placed on mothers chest, skin-to-skin straight away without being cleaned up first – mom I would also like to attempt to feed her/him immediately.

We would like to birth the placenta naturally without drugs and for my husband to cut the cord once it finishes pulsating.

We would like to take the placenta home with us and understand that it cannot be disposed of in our household trash.


CAESAREAN

If a caesarean becomes necessary we'd like:

For my partner to be with me at all times.

For the screen lowered so we can witness the birth of our baby. We would ideally like to know what’s going on at all times, although we understand that this may not be do-able from a medical point of view.

Unless prevented by medical emergency, we would like my baby to be placed on moms chest while you complete the procedure.

Since the baby was not exposed to the birth canal, we would like to skip the eye ointment.

To be sure that a double layer suture is used and not a single layer in order to improve our chances for a future VBAC.

For the cord to stop pulsating before you clamp and cut it.

The opportunity to breastfeed our baby in recovery.


AFTER BIRTH


All newborn procedures (weighing and measuring) to wait until we have had time to bond with and breastfeed our baby.

We'd prefer not to have the routine injection to help deliver the placenta unless there is reason to suspect that a hemorrhage is likely.

Unless forceps or a C-section has been required, or the birth has been very long and traumatic, we would prefer for our baby not to receive a vitamin K injection.

We would like my husband to stay with me for as long as possible.

Our doula will stay for 2-4 hours after the birth to help out and provide additional support.

We will be receiving vaccinations at our pediatricians office and wish to delay them until that time. Please do not give our baby any injections of any kind without asking first.

 

 
The Benefits of Doulas

Having a doula attend your hospital birth has been proven to reduce:

  1. Episiotomies
  2. Cesareans by 50%
  3. Shorter Labor by 25%
  4. Epidural Requests by 60%
  5. Oxytocin use by 40%
  6. Analgesia use by 30%
  7. Reduction of forceps by 40%

 Benefits of Labor Support to the Mother:

  • Increases positive feelings about labor
  • Decreases intervention
  • Decreases need for medication
  • Increases acceptance of the baby
  • Enhances maternal/infant bonding
  • Decreases neonatal complications
  • Decreases anxiety and tension
  • Shortens labor
  • Increases other's feelings of self-esteem
  • Increases feelings of control
  • Increases mother's cooperation and participation
  • Decreases postpartum depression
 


 
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